Pinetown crash survivor wants owners held accountable

2014-11-28 16:07
Aftermath of the Pinetown horror crash. (ER24)

Aftermath of the Pinetown horror crash. (ER24)

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Durban - A survivor of the deadly Pinetown truck crash says she believes the eight-year prison sentence handed to truck driver Sanele Goodness May was fair, but wants his employers to be held accountable as well.

The truck May was driving ploughed into six vehicles at a busy Durban intersection on 5 September last year, killing 24 people.

May pleaded guilty to 31 charges in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday as part of a plea and sentencing agreement.

Survivor

Ntombi Duma, a teacher, who was in one of the taxis that May's lorry ploughed into, said she believed the sentence was fair, but they wanted the owners of the vehicle to be held accountable for their role in the accident.

"We do believe that if the truck was fine, we wouldn't have had such a big accident. Is he [the truck owner] a person who takes responsibility? Because if he does, he would have shown his responsibility by at least showing himself or sending a note to us [victims].

"There was nothing. It's like whatever happened, it was Sanele's truck and it was Sanele who did that," she said.

She and only one other person in the taxi they were travelling in had survived the crash.

"When I am looking at the video [of the crash] I don't know how we survived."

She suffered spinal, neck and head injuries and lost her hearing in one ear.

She could not recall anything of the accident and was discharged from hospital a month later.

Sentence

Earlier, May was told that with good behaviour he could be released in six years.

The Swazi national pleaded guilty to 24 counts of culpable homicide, two charges of fraud, one charge of entering South Africa illegally, two charges of being in possession of fake driver's licences, one charge of operating a vehicle without a valid professional driving permit, and one charge of failing to comply with a road traffic sign.

May has been in custody ever since the crash. He was previously denied bail by the Pinetown Magistrate's Court.

Initially, he was charged with 24 counts of murder, but this was changed to 24 culpable homicide charges.

He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for each of the culpable homicide convictions, with five years suspended.

He was also sentenced to one year for violating the immigration laws and four years for each of the traffic and licence violations.

All the sentences are to run concurrently and the 14 months May has been in custody were taken into account.

"The effective sentence is one of eight years and 10 months. With good behaviour that could be reduced by a third or more," said Pillay.

 

Read more on:    durban  |  pinetown crash

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